Written by Sarah Colvin

Directed by Kate Nelson

The Underbelly,
Edinburgh Festival Fringe | 2003

This blackly funny tale of a twisted Faustian pact between two unlikely collaborators was accompanied by an irresistible soundtrack and some truly nifty magic.  Set during the Falklands War, the play served up an unusual perspective on war and rising consumerism in early 80s Britain.

“You’d be surprised what some people will pay for.”

Things aren’t going well for Mr Grotius the butcher.  Business is slow, his son is fighting in a far-off war, his daughter is constantly tired and his wife always seems to think a cuppa will make everything better.

Then the magical and mysterious Jack Black enters his shop and conjures up an offer the butcher can’t refuse. Setting in motion a chain of events that change the world permanently, not just for Mr Grotius, but also his nearest and dearest.

Where did Meat come from?

Good question. Nutshell’s Artistic Director heard a short excerpt as a rehearsed reading at Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre.  Intrigued, she asked writer Sarah Colvin: what becomes of Mr and Mrs G?? But Sarah didn’t know - the play wasn’t finished.

Back at her desk she transferred the story from her head to the page and MEAT grew into the fully- fleshed tale that had its world premiere at Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2003.

“For me, the interest of the play is the question of deception and self-deception, and of survival in a world that seems to demand both from us sometimes. 1980s Thatcherism, the background of the story, shows us something of the violence and inhumanity that can come out of this kind of self-deception.”

Sarah Colvin

Cast & Crew

Mr Grotius – Stewart Cairns

Mrs Grotius – Joanna Holden

Jack Black – Alan McPherson

Shona – Gemma Burns

Andy – Malcolm Hamilton

Stacey – Lisa Rigby

Designer – Andrew Burt

Production Manager – Rebecca Whiteman

Lighting Designer – Simon Wilkinson

Costume – Lisa Cochrane

What the Press Said

“This is The Royle Family scripted by Joe Orton…a buoyant and confident affair.”


“…a surreal and political piece…this is ink-black comedy at a top level.”


“…Nutshell’s production is compelling, stylish entertainment, featuring strong performances from its excellent cast.”